Favorite Comic Book Pages: Fell #5, Page 13

There really is a lot to love about Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith’s Fell, a sporadically scheduled 16 page comic book published through Image. While the format is certainly interesting (lower page count, more panels per page, $1.99 cover price), it’s the story of homicide detective Richard Fell as he deals with his reassignment in Snowtown, a decaying city that’s as frightening as it’s familiar. It’s been said that Ellis tends to gravitate to the same kind of male characters with his stories, but with Richard Fell, he has created the kind of detective we’d want out there in our modern world, someone who is smart and thoughtful to the right people and scary and shrewd to the wrong people, but either way, Fell’s sense of compassion is clear and determined. And Templesmith’s art really makes Fell come alive in ways other artists wouldn’t be able to.

The nine-panel page I’ve selected comes from issue #5, a story that is essentially one long interrogation scene. It’s a great sampler for someone who is on the fence with reading Fell, because it hits all of the right notes in terms of story, characterization, dialogue and art. Ellis’ dialogue is sharp and Templesmith’s art is on fire, making a conversation between two people feel like a car chase.

At this point in the interrogation, things have gone sour. The suspect being interrogated has revealed to have a gun and has taken Fell hostage. And if you’ve read the issues thus far, you’d know that some of Fell’s greatest weapons are his ability to listen and speak:

Fell #5, Page 13


Next week I’ll be taking a look at another one of Ellis’ books.

Written by

Christian A. Dumais is an American writer, humorist and public speaker living in Wrocław, Poland. He has published fiction, journalism, and academic articles in several magazines and journals such as GUD, Shock Totem and Ha!Art. His first collection of short stories, Empty Rooms Lonely Countries, was published in 2009. He also created, edited, and contributed to Cover Stories, a euphictional anthology of 100 stories inspired by songs, which was published in 2010. His most recent book is SMASHED: The Life and Tweets of Drunk Hulk.


  • Rich

    Fell is one of the best things I have read. How Ellis manages to pack so much into these relatively small, one-shot pieces amazes me. The artwork by Templesmith is a perfect fit in creating the dark, schizophrenic city of Snowtown, which is a character within itself. It is a shame that Warren Ellis lost a lot of work (the story behind the loss is, in itself, it's own little epic) including several drafts for the next run of Fell, so he has had to start over from scratch so there will eventually be more Fell, just not as soon as readers would like! I tend to recommend this to people who want to read graphic novels but don't want superheroes (alongside Fables, by Bill Willingham) and anyone who wants a bit of a change. Off the back of this, I would also suggest checking out 'Freakangels' by Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield.

  • Christian A. Dumais

    Thanks for writing, Rich. I think Ellis really excels when he puts restraints on himself and plays around with comic formats, as in FELL and FREAKANGELS. While some of his work can feel repetitive at times, I feel his ideas are always worth listening to. Thanks again.

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